earth energy Solutions GROUP

… revealing and resolving the economics of energy efficiency

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Continuing improvements in LED Lighting and energy efficient performance

Breaking news announcing Recovery Act, program news, and research developments from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). View the Web version.
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Energy Department Announces Winners of Design Competition to Advance Energy Efficient Lighting

May 15, 2012

Winners of the indoor lighting category of the fourth-annual Next Generation LuminairesTM (NGL) Design Competition were announced late last week at the LIGHTFAIR International conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) commercial lighting fixtures, or “luminaires.” Solid-state lighting (SSL), which includes both LED and organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies, has the potential to save Americans $30 billion a year in energy costs by 2030. Advancing energy efficient lighting choices is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to help families and businesses save money by saving energy, while ensuring American leadership in energy-efficient building technologies.

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OLED Device

OLED Device (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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earth energy Solutions applauds DOE shift to energy saving lighting products

January 24, 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a report that documents the increased adoption of energy-efficient lighting products in the United States over the last decade. The 2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization examines the current conditions and broad trends in the U.S. lighting market, broken down by technology and sector.

The report also details specific products, including comprehensive and detailed estimates of the national inventory of installed lighting products, as well as their performance characteristics, associated energy use, and lumen production – a measure of brightness. The report helps chart progress made toward the goal of transitioning to more energy-efficient lighting technologies across four sectors: residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and outdoor applications.

The study shows that in 2010, lighting used approximately 700 terawatt-hours (TWh), or nearly19% of the electricity produced in the United States. Of the total energy used for lighting, the commercial sector consumed nearly half, or 349 TWh, primarily with fluorescent lighting products. While there are nearly 6 billion light bulbs installed in the residential sector, far more than the approximately 2 billion lamps in the commercial buildings sector, the mostly incandescent residential lamps were not used nearly as much per day, on average, as lights in the commercial sector.

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DOE Releases New Version of EnergyPlus Modeling Software



December 7, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released the latest version of its building energy modeling software EnergyPlus, which calculates the energy required to heat, cool, ventilate, and light a building. EnergyPlus is used by architects and engineers to design more efficient buildings, by researchers to investigate new building and system designs, and by policymakers to develop energy codes and standards. The advanced physics calculations within EnergyPlus allows it to model a wide range of residential and commercial buildings and HVAC system types, including passive building designs and low-energy systems. EnergyPlus v7.0 features many enhancements including:

  • 25%-40% faster execution speeds on a wide variety of models. Up to 500% improvements are possible on models using airflow networks
  • Improved modeling of ventilation rate procedures and a new thermal comfort report, both based on ASHRAE Standard 62.1
  • New equipment performance data sets for packaged rooftop air-conditioners and heat pumps
  • New model for variable refrigerant flow heat pump air-conditioners
  • Extensions to the Energy Management System (EMS) and Runtime Language
  • Updated utilities.

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95% of global rare earth minerals produced by China

Global rare earth element production (1 kt=106...

The next decade is practically all mined

Officials from the United States, European Union and Japan will gather in Washington next month to find ways of cutting demand for raw materials whose supplies China is limiting, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Experts and officials will discuss in early October how to team up to develop high-tech goods – such as electric car motors and wind turbines – that are less dependent on coveted rare earth minerals, and how to make better use of those minerals that are available, the official said.

“There is a growing market for these products and we need to be able to keep producing them,” Jeff Skeer of the office of policy and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy told Reuters by telephone.

China produces more than 95 percent of global rare earth minerals — used to make fiber optic cables and wind turbines among other high-tech goods — and its efforts to limit production, citing resource depletion and environmental degradation, have alarmed its overseas customers.

Adding to tensions, Chinese state media on Tuesday announced plans to halt production at three major mines.

“We need to find out, how can you use less and how can you get more,” Skeer said.

Talks may also broaden to include officials from producing countries such as Canada and Australia, he said.

Europe’s need for secure sources of critical raw materials is particularly acute given the bloc’s history of relying on imports as well as costly mining and environmental rules applied by its 27 states.

EU lawmakers will next Tuesday issue recommendations to policymakers which, though non-binding, reflect industry and environmental concerns.

On Wednesday, the EU’s executive Commission published policy plans to improve the bloc’s access to energy and energy goods, calling among other things for trilateral cooperation on rare earths with the United States and Japan.

(Editing by James Jukwey)

Date: 09-Sep-11
Country: BELGIUM
Author: Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck

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eeS Group commends DOE Energy Efficiency Programs


DOE Charted

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Five Better Buildings Case Studies That Highlight Key Lessons to Improve Energy Efficiency Programs Nationwide

May 26, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the release of five case studies from a series spotlighting some of the most innovative projects funded under the Department’s Better Buildings program. Better Buildings is a national program that is working to transform the marketplace for energy efficiency upgrades in homes, businesses, and institutions. More than 40 state and local governments and partnering organizations received over $500 million to lay the foundation for a sustainable energy efficiency market in the United States. The case studies released today will help program administrators and their partners develop and optimize energy efficiency programs to help consumers and businesses save money and reduce their energy use by making affordable energy-saving improvements.

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DOE Announces Guide for 50 % More Energy Efficient Office Buildings


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May 11, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the release of the first in a new series of Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs) to aid architects and engineers in the design of highly energy efficient office buildings.

The 50 % AEDG series will provide a practical approach to commercial buildings designed to achieve 50 % energy savings compared to the commercial building energy code used in many areas of the country.

This 50 % AEDG for Small and Medium Office Buildings is the first in a series of four to be released in the coming months. These commercial building guides support President Obama’s goal to reduce energy use in commercial buildings 20 % by 2020 and will help drive demand for energy-saving products made in the United States.

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